Back to the Flavor: Iconic '80s Foods that Defined a Decade

By Jack Ripley | January 18, 2024

Slimer's Official Juice: Ecto Cooler

When some people picture the 1980s, they think about bright neon colors or wood paneling and other leftovers from the 1970s. For others, though, the decade was all about the food. Those of us who grew up in the 80s remember the snacks our moms set out after school and sent in our lunch boxes. From sweet and sugary drinks to dishes that used the then state-of-the-art microwaves, the food had everyone salivating and begging for more. Take a walk back in time with the foods that everyone loved in the 1980s.

 

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While the studio behind “Ghostbusters” expected viewers to love the team, they loved Slimer even more. The funny and goofy green ghost was easy to love, which is what led him to get his own drink. Made by Hi-C, Ecto Cooler came out in 1989 and quickly became a hit. Known as much for its tangerine flavor as it was for the dripping ectoplasm design on the front, it stuck around long after the films left theaters.

Many people don't know that Ecto Cooler stayed around even longer, albeit with some name changes. It became Shoutin' Orange Tangerine and later Crazy Citrus Cooler. In addition to the name change, it also lost its signature green color. Ecto Cooler came back in 2016 for the new “Ghostbusters” film and found a whole new legion of fans before it sadly disappeared from store shelves again.

A Bottle of Fun: Squeezits

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Known as both Squeez It and Sqeezits, this popular juice drink appeared in almost every lunchbox and cafeteria table in the 80s. Who can forget the fun bottles that had a face embossed on the outside? Other packaged drinks at the time came with a small straw that often made a mess when pushed through a tiny opening at the top. Squeezits were different because you popped off the plastic top and squeezed the sides, which caused the juice to rush to the top and into your mouth.

General Mills released Squeezits in 1985 in classic flavors like cherry and orange. Each bottle featured a different character, causing kids to pick their favorites. In later years, the drink came with a small disc that kids added to the bottle to change the drink's color. Though Squeezits popped up a few times over the years, it quietly disappeared for the last time in 2012.